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Frustration after county council deems flooding caused by long-standing drain blockage problem in Long Melford 'not severe enough' for repairs




Frustrated residents look over the flooded lane at Meeting Field in Long Melford, caused by a long-standing blocked drain issue. Picture supplied by John Nunn. (5871572)
Frustrated residents look over the flooded lane at Meeting Field in Long Melford, caused by a long-standing blocked drain issue. Picture supplied by John Nunn. (5871572)

A Long Melford councillor has slammed Suffolk Highways’ decision not to short-list a local flood risk issue for a fix, calling it “another example of how pathetic matters are” in the county.

Emails seen by the Free Press reveal that Suffolk County Council’s highways department assessed the drainage system for Meeting Field, following repeated reports of flooding in the road, and determined it will likely not make the cut for the planned 2019/20 drainage works.

Issues with the drains at Meeting Field, which leads to Long Melford Cricket Club, have drawn the ire of villagers and the parish council for at least 10 years, with blockages found in both the council-owned parts and the privately-owned portion of the drainage system.

But the county council has concluded that, on its flooding severity matrix, the system scores 61 out of a possible 100, and it believes resources will only be available to repair problems graded at 65 and above.

In an email to Long Melford parish, district and county councillor Richard Kemp, Suffolk Highways asset manager Amanda Mays said: “I am sure that this is not the response that the parish would like, but, to give some context to my response, we currently have about 500 flooding sites on a long list.

“Generally, given the allocated budget and available drainage specialist resource we have in the team, we are able to do up to 100 sites per year.”

In response, Cllr Kemp described the decision as “nothing short of a disgrace”, and urged residents to contact the council to air their concerns about the matter.

“I am amazed that this situation just rolls on,” he told the Free Press.

“Taxpayers have to put up with this continual avoidance by Suffolk County Council to deal with obvious faults within its road drainage system.

“The residents should write to the chief executive asking her to intervene, as this is quite ridiculous.”


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